A musician and performer, Lieselot Elzinga launched her label together with Miro Hämäläinen in 2019 when she couldn’t source the right pieces to perform in. The 27-year old punk-band bassist studied at Gerrit Rietveld Academie with Hämäläinen. She interned at Charles Jeffrey Loverboy while Miro interned at AF Vandevorst. Based in Amsterdam, their range is known for its bold aesthetic and it is sold on Matchesfashion.com.
What inspired you to launch your label?
After my graduation from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, I got approached by Bart Ramakers from Parrot Agency, a sales agency based here in Amsterdam. In collaboration with Parrot Agency, Miro and I started working on the first Elzinga collection that could be produced and launched at Matchesfashion. I always envisioned having my own brand, but I never expected it to happen so soon after graduating from uni. I think getting approached by Parrot Agency definitely sped up starting for ourselves, and thanks to Bart we got to show our collection to Matchesfashion which obviously is a huge opportunity for a newcomer like ourselves.
I have been a bass player in a teenage girl band since the age of 12. Being on stage from such a young age, and especially in a man’s world like the music industry, made me discover how to use fashion as a tool to gain more confidence on stage. As a girl group we always dressed alike, and we always worked with a certain clothing theme. Almost like designing a mini collection every time we went on stage. After we stopped performing, I continued with this vision and that’s what’s the inspiration behind Elzinga.
What is your brand ethos?
It’s my experience as a bass player that Elzinga draws inspiration from but also its character. Having had to prove myself in largely male-dominated music industry, I discovered that expressing and exaggerating my femininity helped me gain more confidence and made me feel more equal. We dressed like girls but felt like boys. We expressed our femininity in a very masculine way.
How would you describe your signature aesthetic?
It’s all about conveying the same aesthetic and evoking the same raw excitement as a live performance; something energetic, powerful, and rough around the edges. We want to create an extravagant and highly feminine silhouette by using simple shapes and merging sophisticated tailoring with eccentric patterns.
What was your inspiration this season?
Post pop blow out is an ode to power dressing. Picking up from the sharp sartorial trends emulated by the 1950s teddy girls and the machismo of punk icon Blondie, we wanted to channel masculinity and femininity in equal measure. A very big inspiration for this collection was Blondie, when we started the collection, I just finished reading her autobiography where she explains how she used her highly feminine image to become one of the biggest female frontwomen of the 20th century. She explains how she used her femininity to set herself apart, but how she felt like a boy performing. That was really inspiring to me because I recognized that feeling from being on stage myself.
Who is your customer?
It’s been exciting to see that there’s interest from women of all ages and that what we make works on different body shapes as well. The Elzinga woman is not afraid to be feminine and assert herself. She is fierce and classy and a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll.
What are your plans for the label?
We hope to continue to do fashion shows and events with that Elzinga twist, including live music and performance, and take it to new places as well. We really want to create an extravagant atmosphere where everyone feels included. We have a lot of dreams for the brand of course but for us doing the Valentine’s event at 5 Carlos Place during London Fashion Week was already a dream come true. Working together with an artist like Anna Calvi and a partner like Matchesfashion, showcasing our collection in such a beautiful place was something beyond our wildest dreams. Now on to the next one!